All officials for world junior hockey championship in Edmonton from Canada only

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EDMONTON — All 26 on-ice officials at the world junior men's hockey championships in Edmonton will be from Canada.

International Ice Hockey Federation tournaments normally have an international cross section of referees and linesmen.

The IIHF is limiting the pool of officials to the host country to reduce risk of the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The 10-team world under-20 men's tournament is scheduled for Dec. 25 to Jan. 5 in the Alberta capital.

“The game officials we would normally choose would have come from many different countries,” IIHF officiating manager Danny Kurmann said Wednesday in a statement.

“Every additional person we bring into the bubble is a risk, so we decided to source the officials locally in order to reduce the risk to travelling personnel and teams.”

The IIHF said all 10 participating countries approved of the decision.

"Special events require special measures, and we are confident that this group will be able to uphold the officiating standards of this tournament,” IIHF officiating committee chairman Sergej Gontcharov said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2020.

The Canadian Press